When the agency makes you do a voice-over with a bad translation.

Any interpreters/translators have this experience? I would bet even voice actors with a native speaker’s ear and a bad translation might have the same problem? (Reminds me of Bill Murray in Lost in Translation.)

The Professional Interpreter

Dear Colleagues,

The other day I was talking to some colleagues who do voice-overs for radio, television, and industrials. Soon, the conversation turned to those times when the interpreter gets the script for the voice-over or for a commercial just to learn that the original English text has been poorly translated.  Of course, depending on the client, and sometimes the accessibility of the director and producers of the piece, the interpreter can make some observations and request changes to the script so that the actual foreign language native-speaker can understand the commercial or the show.  There are cases when the producer requests a new translation before the shooting. This is the ideal situation.

However, many times when we bring this up, we face hostility from the agency and the production crew. We are often told that the script was sent to a translator, that it has been translated, and that…

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The Professional Interpreter: One Profession. One Real Profession.

Who knew that while we western region RID interpreters are having a conference to ourselves in Honolulu, interpreters of all settings and languages are having a conference in Monterey? It amazes me how little I know of the wider world of interpreting, and I can only imagine that my fellow ASL-English interpreters are in the same boat.

The Professional Interpreter

Dear Colleagues,

It seems to me that a week never goes by without a colleague telling me that he or she was misunderstood, humiliated, obstructed, or underpaid while doing his or her job.  Some of them react with anger, others with frustration, a few seem resigned, but a growing number of our fellow interpreters have been reacting to these real-life situations by taking action, doing something about it. Finally, interpreters finding a solution to this “never-ending” comedy of errors where the interpreter is often an unwilling character.

As those of you who know me personally (and many others have figured out by reading this blog) know, I have always considered myself a professional at the same level as all those who we provide our services to:  Scientists, politicians, attorneys, diplomats, physicians, military officers, school principals; and I try to act that way when  I provide my interpretation services.  I feel…

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